Bluegrass Beacon: Kentucky’s new GOP ready to drain the swamp

Speaker-elect Jeff Hoover, R-Jamestown, whose Republican caucus will control the Kentucky House of Representatives for the first time since 1921, made it clear: Frankfort should focus on policies that bring economic growth and employment opportunities to the Big Blue State. Senate President Robert Stivers, R-Manchester, who presides over a body that’s passed pro-growth bills by…

Bluegrass Beacon: Provide multiple paths for charter-school creations

School-choice opponents in my Twitter domain are having 140-character conniption fits over President-elect Donald J. Trump’s stellar decision to choose Michigan philanthropist Betsy DeVos as the nation’s next education secretary. They claim their opposition is because DeVos doesn’t have “classroom teacher” on her resume. Yet what’s really at the heart of the pushback from DeVos’…

Bluegrass Beacon: Tobacco-tax advocates suffer from policy schizophrenia

Paducah Sun executive editor Steve Wilson’s recent missive in favor of raising Kentucky’s cigarette tax by a Cuban cigar-sized 40 percent was in response to my recent column calling on policymakers to leave “any and all” tobacco-tax increases out of Frankfort’s tax-reform conversation altogether and instead focus on pro-growth opportunities. Wilson offers arguments filled with…

Pension python squeezing Kentucky’s economy

Reporter John Cheves covers the state’s retirement systems’ crisis in Tuesday’s Lexington Herald-Leader, citing inadequate funding, weak investment returns and “unrealistic assumptions” regarding public employees and their benefits as the primary contributing factors to Kentucky’s public pension plight. Two of this stool’s three legs have received a lion’s share of the attention by policymakers. It…

Bluegrass Beacon — Electoral College: Games won, not runs scored

Buttercups and snowflakes on college campuses came out to weep, gnash teeth purpled by sour grapes, shove others around and throw bottles because the presidential election didn’t go their way. Five were arrested at a protest held on Western Kentucky University’s campus in Bowling Green. But something different happened at Cornell University, where 30 constitutional…